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November 3, 2008

REM World

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REM World

Author: Rodman Philbrick

Page Length: 190

Reading Level: 5

Genre: Science Fiction     

PLOT SUMMARY: This is the story of an overweight 11 year-old boy, Arthur Woodbury, who is teased by his classmates and called Biscuit Butt.  Arthur loves to eat but wants to lose weight.  He decides to take advantage of an REM Sleep Device that is advertised on the back of one of his comic books. The device promises you can lose weight while you sleep. It is Arthur’s birthday and he celebrates by eating the whole cake himself.  Then, he grabs some Oreo cookies and heads to his room to try out the new device. He places the helmet device on his head and believes he will go to sleep fat and wake up thin.  When he wakes up still fat, Arthur is angry and throws the helmet, but realizing he is still in the REM World, he must use the device or the world will be lost to an evil darkness.

REVIEW: This is a great adventure book based on a problem many children deal with, obesity.  Arthur overeats because he feels a loss for his father.  Through all of his adventures and challenges he doesn’t realize he is losing weight because he is eating less and moving more.  After his journey into REM World, Arthur is remembered for his courage rather than for being fat.

This would be a good book for students with low self-esteem to realize that each of us has worthy attributes if we just look for them.

AREAS OF TEACHING: Descriptive writing (p. 55, 57), Vocabulary, Setting, Sequence of Events, Character

RELATED BOOKS: The Last Book in the Universe, Freak the Mighty, Max the Mighty


REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner

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